A Poem by Amy Lynn Ruth

blackest canopies over this longing suburban town and also the very night time shade of navy where unsinkable ships have glided with coy buoyancy into silence I just think it’s wild how evanescent is a smile have you ever felt depersonalization after a couple too many hits nah, man I’m good over here but these cans don’t taste the same when we were fifteen and grasping grappling with key locks pushed up against this couch back unzipped and pressing teaching sweet first loves and lasts that I swore to her would never fade away well, we’re back in town again and her new boyfriend awkwardly stands in the kitchen corner tracing chaser circles on the counter he’ll tell you the government’s been stealing from our essence earth pretending it’s for some greater good and we don’t have the slightest of clues what goes on out there but hey, man I’m just trying to have a good time don’t even bring up time tonight.

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Alfa Art Gallery’s New Brunswick Salon ~ Call for Artists

New Brunswick Art Salon, Fall 2011 – Call for Artists

About the Exhibition

In the 18th and 19th century, Art Salons were the greatest annual or biannual art events in the Western world, celebrating the farthest advances in academia and the arts. The Alfa Art Gallery, in order to bridge talented and highly esteemed artists with the New Brunswick public, holds its own Art Salon exhibition biannually in the spring and fall.

Call for Entries

The Alfa Art Gallery would like to invite artists to submit work for the New Brunswick Art Salon, Fall ’11. There are two artist categories: newly emerging artists and professional artists. All submissions must be in by September 25. Artists will be notified if their work is accepted by September 30. The exhibition opening will be held on Friday, October 21.


For this exhibition, artists must submit works celebrating diversity or unity in a community.

Submission Requirements

All applicants must be associated with New Brunswick as a resident or as an artist who exhibits in New Jersey. Students and faculty members of Rutgers University and neighboring schools may enter. You must at least be pursuing an undergraduate career to participate. Degree does not need to be related to art.  There is no limit to the number of works entered.

To enter for consideration, please email the following to info@alfaart.org:

  • Images with title/dimensions
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement about your work
Or contact:
Jewel Lim, Event coordinator,

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Alfa Art Gallery ~ 2011 Spring Art Salon

New Brunswick Art Salon, Spring 2011: Part I

Exhibition duration: April 22 – May 12, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, April 22  @ 6:30-10:30pm
Jewel Lim
Multiciplinary Event: The New World Order

The Alfa Art Gallery is proud to present “The Double-Edged Search for the Truth & the Ideal,” the first of two spring exhibitions of the New Brunswick Art Salon 2011.

About  Alfa’s New Brunswick Art Salon

In the 18th and 19th century, Art Salons were the greatest annual or biannual art events in the Western world, celebrating the farthest advances in academia and the arts. The Alfa Art Gallery, in order to bridge talented and highly esteemed artists with the New Brunswick public, holds its own Art Salon exhibitions biannually in the Spring and Fall.

About this Exhibition

This exhibition “The Double-Edged Search for the Truth & the Ideal” features Carlos Frias, Dara Alter, Peter Arakawa and Rita Herzfeld, four talented painters from different backgrounds.  True to its title, this first part of the spring exhibitions for the New Brunswick Art Salon 2011 explores the individual’s search for the truth and the ideal in a larger community. The colors of the paintings in this collection are optimistic and vibrant; however, each piece contains an underlying narrative of the struggle to attain knowledge or to illustrate a desire in the bigger scheme of Life. Dara Alter creates multi-perspective, aerial landscapes without a fixed viewpoint as a response to her yearning for an ideal Israel. Peter Arakawa paints his works in only clusters of twos or threes in an attempt to avoid repetition: his works, created from observations of daily life, serve as voyages, combining patterns and shapes that are unlikely together, in search for an order that fits. In his paintings, Carlos Frias, with his intriguing Kandinsky-like palette, attempts to analyze and capture the essence of human beings as organic and spiritual forms with their ability to grow and self-destruct. Rita Herzfeld, acting and reacting in a cycle to each step in her creative process, attacks her canvases with ardent, moving paint strokes to actively demonstrate the gap and interactions between instinct, ideas, self-exploration and, ultimately, truth in a stilled image.

About the Artists

Carlos Frias received his BFA in Painting from the Parsons School of Design. His recent works aims to highlight our humanity , creativity, relationships and  urges to grow and self-destruct while, at the same time, strip us of our spirituality and culture, representing humans as organic forms bound to decompose and regenerate. Additionally, his work visually demonstrates the parallel between what art is able to represent of the evolution of humankind and how much we want to preserve and manipulate art to represent the history of our species. He has exhibited in Japan, the Dominican Republic, Spain, and the United States.

Dara Alter obtained her degree in Studio Art from the University of Guelph.  Heavily influenced by her cultural ties, she paints her memories of Israel in order to examine the North American Jewish nostalgia for an idealized nation.  In the last five years, she travelled to South America, North America, Asia, and the Middle East, which additionally influenced her works. Alter is most interested exploring location and place as it relates to her personal experiences and uses a specific palette that corresponds to the scenery in a particular region. She has exhibited in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey in the United States as well as in Toronto, Ontario in Canada.

Peter Arakawa obtained his MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He became an artist through the influences of creative family members.  Arakawa has been a professional artist for over twenty-five years. His works are held in many institutions and museums, including the Zimmerli Art Museum, Newark Public Library, Jersey City Museum, the State Museum, Hunterdon Art Museum and Johnson & Johnson Corporation.

Rita Herzfeld attended the School of Visual Arts and City College of N.Y. and obtained her BA from Rutgers University.  Inspired by her artistic mother, Herzfeld became an artist who grew up believing in the power that comes with creation and its processes from simple tools such as pencil and paper. Her works are held in the Hurterdon Museum of Art, the Zimmerli Art Museum and various private collections.

Best Artists of New Brunswick Art Salon’ 2010

First Place: Wes Sherman
Second Place: Marsha Goldberg
Third Place: Larry McKim

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Meet the Pollifax Crew and More at Alfa Art Gallery

Upcoming Events:

  • March 26, (Friday) – 7pm-11pm – POLLIFAX at Alfa
  • March 27, (Saturday) – 2pm-4pm – “The Contemporary Relevance of the Renaissance Palette” – a lecture by Michael Price
  • April 2, (Friday) – 7:30pm-10:30pm – Vesselin Kourtev – solo exhibition
  • April 9, (Friday) – 7:30pm-10:30pm – “Uptown”, a Novel – Book promotion and signing

March 26th, 2010 – “Another Sunny Day” – POLLIFAX at Alfa

The Alfa Art Gallery is pleased to collaborate with the independent online creative arts publication, POLLIFAX, presenting “Another Sunny Day” on Friday, March 26th. Pollifax features the works of artists ranging from musicians to local writers from in and around the area. During their time as Rutgers students, founders Christine Tran and Kevin Olitan encountered instances of unrest regarding the lack of public art spaces and local venues for music while even independent coffee shops were closing down. The two created Pollifax as a “space” for the growing amount of talent coming in and out of the city.Currator: Julianna Ritter
Doors open at 7pm – $5 suggested donation

The founders will introduce their initiative to showcase the arts community of New Brunswick, New Jersey. Olitan will present “Wanderer Sessions”, a set of live, music videos featuring both local New Brunswick musicians and the ever-growing stream of talented bands passing through the city. Local poets will perform pieces inspired by art from the Alfa. Followed by performances by bands featured in the “Wanderer Sessions.”

(click here to learn more about this event)

March 27th, 2010 – 2-4pm – “The Contemporary Relevance of the Renaissance Palette” – a lecture by Michael Price

Outline (approx. 2 hours + questions/discussion)

Most contemporary artists are fighting a battle on their canvases. They have no knowledge of what is in their tubes of oil or acrylic paint, and to make matters worse they paint on canvases primed with a ground that carries the mysterious and generic name of “gesso”.

This lecture focuses on a lost art of painting. Its revival is in its infancy. The presentation focuses on a comparison of the so-called “historical pigments”, i.e. natural and mineral pigments such as lapis lazuli, azurite, malachite, cinnabar etc. with modern synthetic pigments such as cobalt blue, French ultramarine and cadmium red. Michael Price presents his ongoing pigment research with the world famous Doerner Institute of Munich, Germany.

  1. Introduction – The language of colour (physical characteristics).
  2. Prerequisites for the luminosity of the Renaissance Masters – Support, ground, pigments & binding mediums.
  3. Support and ground – panel v. stretched canvas – (traditional gesso v. the decline into the confusion and profusion of modern grounds).
  4. A comparison of natural & and mineral pigments from rocks and crystals with modern synthetic pigments – (pigment chroma)

    • Detailed analysis – mineral and synthetic pigments under the microscope – (pigment particle size, refractive index of pigments)Mineral pigment preparation – (levigation techniques)
    • How to improve the luminosity and drying time of synthetic pigments.
  5. Prerequisites for the choice of binding mediums with natural and mineral pigments (natural distempers, egg tempera; natural fir balsams, pine resins, cold pressed oils, polymerized and co-polymerized oils). This information can be applied to modern pigments.
  6. When is “oil paint” really oil paint?
  7. Conclusion: historical and contemporary examples of paintings with “chromatic intensity”.

Admission: $5

(click here to learn more about this event)

April 2nd, 2010 – Vesselin Kourtev – Solo Exhibition Opening Reception

Opening Reception: April 2nd, 7:30-10:30pm
Exhibition Duration: April 2nd – April 21st

Starting in the early 1990s, Vesselin Kourtev has exhibited his artwork worldwide. Now in April 2010, the Alfa Art Gallery in New Brunswick, New Jersey will present his newest exhibition in collaboration with the release of Virginia DeBerry’s newest book Uptown where the title of each painting correlates to a chapter in her novel. There is an overtone of alluring energy in the figures and their composition with the background, offering the viewer ghostly, yet harmonious, visions of an abstract world. His tones and hues, especially in his painting Full to the brim of future(Chapter 20), express a sense of liberation as birds cascade over a saturated green landscape presenting a celebration of hope. The product of this process of creating a relationship between language and image is to build the bridge between different art mediums and to create a layer of ideas, a central theme in Kourtev’s work.

About Vesselin Kourtev’s exhibition by Virginia DeBerry

New Year’s Celebration leads to a Cross-Cultural Collaboration when bestselling author Virginia DeBerry attended a New Year’s Eve dinner at New Brunswick, New Jersey’s Alfa Gallery, she anticipated only an entertaining evening with friends old and new, and a different way to begin a new decade. Instead, the event gave rise to the Uptown exhibit, pairing Uptown, the latest novel by DeBerry and her writing partner Donna Grant, with the paintings of noted Bulgarian artist Vesselin Kourtev.

“I visited the gallery and was shown several canvases of Vesselin’s new work,” says DeBerry. “One painting in particular struck me as representative of both the closeness and the struggle between cousins Avery and Dwight, the main characters in our book.” This realization led to a discussion about the relationships between different art forms which proved to be the catalyst for gallery co-owner Galina Kourtev to put together a show called Uptown. Each painting is named for a chapter in the book, and Vesselin drew inspiration from the story for one special work entitled “Uptown.”

(click here to learn more about this event)

April 9th, 2010 – “Uptown”, a Novel – Book Promotion

Reception: April 2th, 7:30-10:30pm

The 2000’s have witnessed both the real estate boom and the real estate meltdown. The fluctuating market has made headlines nationwide. In the seventh novel by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, they too reached for the headlines in undertaking a story about a mogul’s dreams to build a real estate empire.

What is the true price of greed, unfettered ambition—and forgiveness? New York Times bestselling co-authors and best friends, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, who brought you Gotta Keep on Tryin’ (2008) and What Doesn’t Kill You (2009) are back with a story as big as New York City itself, following a wealthy, prominent family caught in a storm of sexual scandal, secrets, betrayal, and politics.

In UPTOWN: A Novel (Touchstone Books/Simon & Schuster Trade Paperback; March 2, 2010; ISBN: 9781439137765; $14.99) Dwight Dixon’s dream is to take over the Harlem real estate empire his father King has painstakingly built and to bring to fruition Dixon Plaza, a luxury high-rise complex on Central Park North. Everything, including his wife and daughter, comes second to his goal of changing the face of Harlem, and finally earning his callous father’s approval.

Avery Lyons, Dwight’s estranged cousin, returns to New York City after the tragic death of her mother, who also held a stake in King’s real estate company. After nearly two decades abroad, Avery reluctantly re-enters the life and neighborhood she had fled after Dwight, with whom she once shared a close bond, betrayed her trust. To Avery, Dwight’s lies cut deeper than the hurt and shame she felt after being attacked by one of her cousin’s friends. With her sassy and hot-tempered high school best friend Alicia at her side, Avery wades through the papers and deeds her mother left her, including the key piece of property Dwight needs in order to get his precious Dixon Plaza off the … (click here for the rest)

(click here to learn more about this event)

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